The National Arts Festival (NAF) is an annual festival of performing arts in Grahamstown, South Africa. It is the largest arts festival on the African continent and one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world by visitor numbers.
The festival runs for 11 days, from the last week of June to the first week of July every year. It takes place in the small university city of Grahamstown, in the Eastern Capeprovince of South Africa.
The NAF comprises a Main programme and a Fringe festival, both administered by the National Arts Festival Office, a non-profit Section 21 Company. The Festival programme includes performing arts (theatre, dance, stand-up comedy and live music), visual art exhibitions, films, talks and workshops, a large food and craft fair and historical tours of the city. The NAF runs a children’s arts festival over the same period and a number of other festivals take place in Grahamstown over the period of the NAF, such as the National Youth Jazz Festival.
Performances take place across the city in approximately 60 venues (such as theatres, churches, schools) as well as in various outdoor locations for the street performances.
The Festival attracts significant numbers of local and international visitors and is one of the biggest contributors to the economy of the region